Was the Kingdom of God Postponed? Installment #3
Be sure to read installment #1 and#2” href=”http://donkpreston.com/was-the-kingdom-of-god-postponed-guest-article-by-jim-gunter-2/” target=”_blank”> # 2 of this series. Considering the widespread belief that Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God, but, due to Jewish unbelief he could not do that, and thus the kingdom was postponed, this is a very, very important issue.
For, for those who believe that “all” Jews will one day repent and accept Jesus as their Messiah, I just wonder if they have ever considered what Paul says to these same Roman disciples just 11 verses earlier in Romans 11:13-14? In showing genuine concern for his fellow Jews, Paul says:
“But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles, inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen (Jews-jg), and save some of them.”
Folks, I believe Paul’s language here makes it very clear that he considered all of his fellow Jews who had not come to Christ, as “lost.” His preaching of the gospel to the nations (gentiles) was, in large part, to provoke his fellow Jews to jealousy, in hopes of steering them to Christ, so as to save some of them. It surely doesn’t sound to me as though Paul had any thoughts whatsoever of all the Jews being saved someday, neither in his future, nor any time in our future! No, he specifically says it was his hope that he could save “some” of them. And just two chapters earlier, in Romans 9:1-4, he made this most remarkable statement:
“I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ, for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh (Jews-jg), who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises…”
Good folks, I don’t believe Paul could have said anything else that would have expressed his love for his fellow Jews more than these words! For him to even be willing to wish himself accursed and separated from Christ forever, if it would mean their salvation, certainly in my estimation, is the ultimate demonstration of his love for them! I believe this begs the question: In light of this great love Paul had for them, if the Jews were all going to, collectively, be saved one day anyway, then why would he make such a statement, and why would he be so grieved in his heart over their condition? If they’re all going to be saved one day anyway, why wouldn’t he exhibit the same attitude as many of today’s teachers and preachers i.e., just not even waste his time evangelizing them?
And therefore, dear ones, because of such passages as these, I am fully persuaded that Paul’s statement, “And thus all Israel will be saved,” does not at all mean what many have perceived it to mean.
I am made to wonder if perhaps one reason for some thinking the Kingdom of God has not yet come could be due to a mistake we have all made at one time or another. The mistake I’m speaking of is the same mistake the 1st century Jews made; they were looking for a “physical” kingdom with great fanfare, pomp, and circumstance! But it should be noted that this is not the kind of Kingdom over which our Master came to reign. You see, they were so consumed with the thought of a physical king who would overthrow the Roman yoke, they completely missed the spiritual realities that our Father had in store for His people. More on this to come!
Be sure to get a copy of Don K. Preston’s book, Seal Up Vision and Prophecy for a great discussion of the question of whether the kingdom of God was postponed. This discussion is one of the most powerful refutations of that idea that you will find anywhere!